Entrevista a Andrew Spong #hcsmEU




Siguiendo con las entrevistas a los moderadores de los diferentes capítulos de #hcsm, hoy voy a compartir con ustedes la entrevista que muy amablemente Andrew contestó. Para los que no lo conocen, Andrew Spong es el Director Editorial de Nexus en PSL Group y co-fundador de #hcsmEU junto con Silja Chouquet. Es una de las personas más maravillosas y amables del ambito de salud y social media, pero antes que describirlo prefiero que hable por si solo.

Aquí los dejo con la entrevista….

VJ: Hello Andrew, Can you please tell us how did you end up working with health care and social media?

AS: Thank you for inviting me to participate, Valentina.
My route into health care and social media was through scholarly publishing, where I had worked for the pharma industry for over a decade to take high quality, independent, impartial, evidence-based materials and turn them into print and latterly digital campaign material for various communities of interest. I became interested in the space towards the end of 2008, and having left the publishing industry to focus on health communications in April 2009, my interest and involvement grew rapidly.

VJ: You are a hcsm enthusiast, how do you think these tools can help change the way health systems work?

AS: A tool is not a tool until it is used. If we merely regard a tool with wonder and delight, it is little more than an ornament. I get somewhat distressed when I read yet another encomium about how the iPad, iPhones whatever the ‘gadget of the month’ is being described with breathless enthusiasm as a ‘game changer’ or some similar commendation. Jiddu Krishnamurti famously remarked that ‘It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society’, and if we think that we are living in the best of all possible worlds with regards to the design and delivery of healthcare on a global basis or even within our own national boundaries, we are surely deluding ourselves. Experimentation is great, but holding up any device and claiming that it is ‘the future of health care’ is a great way of undermining one’s credibility. When we have ‘solved’ the structural health care design and delivery issues that hinder the effective delivery of care to patients in all settings, then perhaps we can afford ourselves the luxury of looking at how we may integrate technologies into our plans. Generally speaking, however, ‘early adopter’ technologies are next to useless when considering their possible widespread adoption within national health systems on the basis that they are too expensive, inadequately supported with reliable or relevant software, and may carry a significant additional resource burden in terms of training and IT support. Rather, it’s far better to consider how to use ‘second generation’ or older techonolgies where costs may have dropped and issues have been resolved. I am a keen follower of the use of SMS on mobile phones in public health contexts in Africa and elsewhere, as I think this is a great example of how older technology will trump newer technology every time in terms of value, reach, adoption, and the consequent improvement in health outcomes. That said, I think the recent #MDchat experiment with two early-onset Alzheimer’s patients (see http://www.scribd.com/doc/47574588/MDchat-On-Alzheimer-s-Transcript-for-January-25-2011) offers us a wonderful, progressive example of what we can do with novel technologies when we are committed to demoting technology as a focus and promoting  technology as a faciliator in healthcare (see http://andrewspong.posterous.com/demoting-tech-as-focus-promoting-tech-as-faci)

VJ: What would you like to share about your experience with #hcsmeu?

AS: Being involved in Health Care Social Media Europe has been one of the richest and most rewarding of my working life. These sort of exclamations always sound cringe-worthy, but you have to believe me when I say that it has been a privilege to discover, interact and work with such a talented and growing cohort of health care enthusiasts in a community that has transcended professions, communities of interest, and national boundaries.

VJ: Can you give some advice to the #hcsmla community?

AS: Begin your day by asking what you can give to your community over the next 8 hours. Serve it faithfully and serve it often, and it will deliver back more value to you in so many different contexts than you could begin to imagine.

VJ: Andrew, is there any thing else you would like to share with us?

AS: Unplug as often as you can. It is all too easy to get lost in ‘the Matrix’ and lose sight of the ‘in real life’ reasons why you became interested in the health conversation online in the first place. Never forget to focus on why we’re all interested in being involved on this fantastic journey: a commitment to finding effective, practical, adoptable ways to improve patient outcomes.

I look forward to strengthening the ties btween #hcsmla and #hcsmeu and the entire #hcsmglobal family. Everyone who reads this is warnly invited to reach out and connect with me on Twitter, where you will find me as @andrewspong

VJ: Muchas gracias por tu tiempo Andrew! 🙂


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